Community UCC eNews
March 12, 2020
Photo above by Roger Wall
Community UCC is an inclusive and progressive Christian Church doing social justice, environmental faithfulness, interfaith collaboration and and spiritual formation to help ourselves and others grow in faith, hope and love.

Sunday Sermon  

For Women's History Month, on Sunday, March 15, Elizabeth Davis-Russell will deliver a sermon on “Divided House: Fractured Selves” bas ed on the scripture Ruth 1:15-22.

Worship Service Each Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
NOTE: We broadcast our Sunday Worship service on Facebook Live beginning at 10:30 a.m. We want to make service accessible to members or friends who can't be with us on Sunday mornings. The camera captures the front of the Sanctuary and the first couple of rows of seats.
March Mission Moment
— Naomi's House

Missions and Social Justice has selected Naomi’s House in Fresno as the recipient of the special offering on Sunday, March 15. In addition to the special offering, we are asking members of the congregation to please donate personal items for the women of Naomi’s House.

Naomi’s House was founded in 2002 with a grant from HUD with matching funds by Poverello House, which also provides security and other funds as needed. It is a shelter for single homeless women, and can accommodate 24 women at a time.

Poverello House provides the basics such as meals, showers, and clothing. The women can receive medical and dental care at Holy Cross.

Volunteers from Community UCC will serve at Poverello House on April 18, and we invite members of our congregation to come and join us.

In addition, please donate items such as bath soap, toothbrushes, tooth paste, deodorant, shoes, socks, and clothing for the women. You may bring them to the Church’s Office between now and April 14, 2020.
DRAWING THIS WEEKEND: Fundraiser: Gifting Tree!

The Missions and Social Justice Team delights in offering you “The Gifting Tree,” filled with various gift cards with a value over $400.

Tickets are $10 each, 6 for $50, or 13 for $100. Drawing will be held on March 15 .

Cards on the tree include the following:
  • $60 - Perfect Balance Yoga
  • $50 - Southwest Airlines
  • $80 - Curves gym two-month membership
  • $50 - Olive Garden
  • Two $25 gift cards to Alla's Mediterranean Restaurant
  • $25 - Amazon
  • $25 - Regal Cinemas
  • Two $10 Starbucks gift cards
  • $20 - Target
  • $20 - Panera
  • $20 - R&G Threading Bar
Church in the time of Coronavirus

We have been inundated with Covid-19 virus news and updates for a couple of weeks now. What are we to do as faithful, loving followers of Jesus?

Here at Community, we are considering a few little changes without extending the powerful impact of other ills that plague us: fear mongering and the continued slide toward isolation.

First, a little reminder of the small world in which we live. What we do matters, not only to me, but to all of us. This is not only a virus thing, but all environmental issues.

We, all 7billion+ of us, share one planet. Just over 100 years ago, in 1918, there was a pandemic flu (the Spanish flu). Over 25 million people died from it. And it cycled back around in 1919. There were only 1.8 billion people on the planet then. The scientists and medical doctors of our world now share information and knowledge freely and rapidly. We live in a better world now than 102 years ago.

Community UCC will celebrate communion by distributing individual small cups and cubes of bread. We will no longer dip the bread in a common cup. We will greet one another with elbow or fist bumps, unless both parties ask for and given permission for a handshake or hug. Some of us hunger for and need the physical contact!

If you are a part of an at-risk population, you may choose not to attend church or any group activity for awhile. Please call the church office (559.435.2690) or Pastor Ara (559.862.3874) and let us know. Participate in worship via Facebook Live . FaceTime with one another. Make a virtual prayer request . Continue to maintain good stewardship by giving your tithe/offering via the mail, our website or Givelify. Call one another. Check in regularly. If you need anything, grocery shopping, doctor appointments , etc. and would like assistance call the church office and we can make arrangements to help out.

May this be a time of great blessing for us as we extend ourselves to one another more frequently through the newer tools of communication and technological advance. 

Pray for those working to address the pandemic: scientists, medical folk, politicians, educators, journalists, communicators - pray for wisdom, strength and forbearance.

Pastor Ara
Living the Questions 2.0

Below are the upcoming topics (subject to change) and theme for February and March.

March 15 Social Justice: Realizing God’s Vision
March 22 Incarnation: Divinely Human
March 29 Prayer: Intimacy with God
April 5 No LTQ (Palm Sunday)
April 12 No LTQ (Easter)
April 19 Compassion: The Heart of Jesus’
April 26 Creative Transformation
May 3 Embracing Mystery
Women's Book Discussion Group

Our book during Lent is " Death of Jesus for Progressive Christians " by Donald Schmidt. We study at 6 p.m. Tuesdays in the Conference Room.

Updated: Upcoming meetings:
  • March 17- Session 3
  • March 24 Session 4
  • March 31 Session 5

Memorial Service for Georgeann Mason

11 a.m. Saturday, March 21 , in the Sanctuary
followed by a reception in Hayden Hall.

We are all invited to gather to remember Georgeann and to surround Marge Kelly with our love and prayers.
From Helmut: We plan to have a work party from 7 a.m. to noon March 14 to weed the xeriscape. Please feel free to drop in to help when you can within that time frame.

Please bring a hoe (narrow-bladed if possible), gloves, and hats/ caps if it is sunny. I look forward to seeing many of you at this party. 
Men's Book Study Group resumes

The men’s book study group will resume at 6 p.m. March 23 with a reconvening kick-off at Chad Hayden’s place (contact Chad or Rod for the address). 

After the kick off get-together, we’ll be working with  "Days of Awe and Wonder," a book by Marcus Borg. Please contact Chad Hayden or Rod Zook if you would like to join us this time around. You are welcome. 
Holy Week Worship at Community UCC

  • Palm/Passion Sunday 10:30 a.m. April 5, beginning with the Procession of Palms into the Sanctuary
  • Good Friday noon April 10, a brief service (30 minutes) including the reading of an original poem, “Jesus,” by Derol Keith
  • Easter – 6:20 a.m. April 5, Sunrise Service with communion in the Peace Garden. Come, join us early on Easter morning and emerge from darkness into the brilliant radiance of the rising SON. We will meet at 6:30 AM on the brick patio just north of the sanctuary. It will be a lovely service with an inspirational message and a symbol of the new life in Christ we hope to share with others. This Easter SON-rise service is one of the special occasions of the year. Please make it even more special by your presence there!  
  • Breakfast from 7:30 to 10 a.m. in and around Hayden Hall
  • Easter Worship in the Sanctuary 10:30 a.m.
Saturday Morning Breakfast Group
Saturday, April 4
Conference Room
Talk begins at 9 a.m.

  • On April 4, Nancy Pressley will discuss Focus Forward, a program to aid troubled youth. New protocol, to make it easier on the organizers/volunteers: Coffee provided; Bring Your Own Breakfast.

  • For May 2, Dr. Al Evans has invited Dr. Nataliia Kasianenko, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Fresno State, who is a native of the Ukraine. Her research focuses on comparative politics and international relations, with an emphasis on nationalism, identity politics, and human rights in the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. 
Save The Date: Spaghetti Feed Fundraiser
April 25, 5 p.m.

As many of you may know, fundraisers are vital to help our church to meet our budget needs each year. This fundraiser will help us to continue to be a beacon of progressive Christianity in the Fresno community and to provide our wonderful worship opportunities for all of you. Also, a portion of the proceeds from this event will support our local N.A.M.I. chapter. Please help in the cause by coming to this fun filled evening for all ages.  More details about the evening will follow!

Right now we are requesting donations of events or activities that will be sold to raise funds beyond the ticket price. These are activities you will sponsor such as those we have sold at past Parties for Community, for example dinners, outings, creative gatherings ,etc. Please contact Nancy at 559.312.8621 for more information and event donations.

Cost: $35 for adults, $10 for ages 6 to 17 years old, kids 5 and under free

In each week's eNews, we include a news article from our larger denomination, United Church of Christ , to show the faithful work being done in other places.
Justice and Grace: A historic panel of UCC leaders share sacred stories at the CHHSM Annual Gathering

Hope, grace, and justice. These three words wound throughout an historic panel discussion by four UCC women leaders in justice advocacy March 4, at the Council for Health and Human Service Ministries' Annual Gathering in Memphis.

Moderated by the Rev. Traci Blackmon, the UCC's Associate General Minister of Justice & Local Church Ministries and senior pastor of Christ the King UCC in Florissant, Mo., the panel included the Rev. Dr. Bernice Powell Jackson, founding executive minister of Justice and Witness Ministries and currently the pastor of First United Church of Tampa (Fla.); the Rev. M. Linda Jaramillo, former executive minister of Justice and Witness Ministries; and the Rev. Loey Powell, former executive director of the UCC's Coordinating Center for Women. Continue reading at the website .
Happy Birthday and Anniversary to all who are celebrating this month!

March Birthdays
4 Dala Ramirez
6 Kristi Cole
8 Emma Haring
9 Ashlyn Chaffin, Olivia LeBeau
14 Lynette Mulvihill
15 Jack Van Patten
16 Marie Edwards, Benjamin Williams
17 Michael Dillahunty
23 - David Rocha
24 Pam Mighaccio, Lu Parks
25 Sophie Gilbert
27 Kate Hayden, Carol Dailey, Debbie Schroer
30 Jerry Thompson

March Anniversaries
19 Bill & Carol Dailey
26 Tom & Penny Carroll
31 Al & Carolyn Evans

Did we overlook someone's birthday or anniversary for this month? Please let Marilyn ( ) and Lisa ( ) know so we can get you in next week. We never intend to leave anyone out.
Upcoming Church Events

  • Thursday Evening Worship weekly at 7 p.m., we hold a weekly contemplative, interactive, spirit-filled worship service in the Sanctuary
  • Sundays at 9 a.m. Adult Education in the Conference Room
  • April 2 Council Meeting in the Conference Room
  • April 4 Saturday Morning Breakfast Group, 8:45 a.m., Conference Room (see article above)
  • April 5 Recycling Sunday, first Sunday of the month
  • April 25- Spaghetti Feed Fundraiser
  • May 17 Stewardship Sunday, theme is "Sharing God's Love"
  • July 6-10 Vacation Bible School, theme will be "To Mars and Beyond"

Keep up to date with our Church's online calendar!
eNews deadline is 10 a.m. Wednesdays

CUCC eNews is a weekly publication distributed every Thursday. Deadline for submitting announcements is 10 a.m. Wednesdays (and earlier is appreciated). Please send your announcements to Marilyn at . Lisa Boyles (, 559.244.9502) is the eNews editor and communications liaison for our church.
We've updated our Joyful Giving page to reflect the many ways members can help support our Church's missions and operations.

Phone: 559.435.2690